Since 2019, WHO has been supporting Ghana in deploying a web-based platform for monitoring quality Adolescent and Youth Friendly Health Services (AFYHS) standards. The platform, which has been deployed to 43 schools in four regions aims to empower adolescents to actively participate in monitoring the quality of healthcare services specifically designed for their needs.
One of the key outcomes from the WHO web-based platform was the need to ensure adolescent and youth health promotion materials are accessible to all regardless of their abilities. The lack of accessible materials for young people with visual impairment was identified as one of the biggest barriers to improving the health of young people.
“There was an urgent need to address a critical gap in access to adolescent health information among the visual impaired adolescents” says Emma Delali Forley, Adolescent Health Service Officer at the Central Regional Health Directorate.
As part of the agenda to leave no one behind in access to critical health information for all, WHO with support from the UKAid and other partners supported Ghana Health Service to transcribing adolescent and youth health Behavioural Change Communication (SBCC) materials into braille to cater for the needs of visually impaired young people in schools.
“This intervention underscores our belief that progress towards Health for All must be characterized by equitable access to healthcare services for everyone, regardless of abilities,” noted the WHO Representative to Ghana, Prof Francis Kasolo.
Since 2021, over 1500 copies of the materials have been distributed to all Schools for the Blind, becoming a significant source of adolescent health information that is positively impacting the lives of young visually impaired persons.
“Initially, we could not access adolescent health information as all materials were printed for people with sight. But now, with the WHO braille information packs, I have learnt how to take care of myself, especially when I am menstruating” says Betty Nkrumah, a student at the Cape Coast School for the Blind.
By championing inclusion and breaking down barriers, WHO and partners are paving the way for a more equitable and compassionate school health system, one that truly leaves no one.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO), Ghana.